Christopher Sandford

Christopher Sandford is the author of numerous books, including Masters of Mystery: The Strange Friendship of Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini (St. Martin’s Press).

Latest by Christopher Sandford in Chronicles

Results: 60 Articles found.
  • Pax in Our Times
    December 2015

    Pax in Our Times

    In 1970’s London, things were a bit more rudimentary than they are today: You considered yourself lucky to get through 24 hours without losing your electricity thanks to the latest “industrial action”, the trains were invariably late, and my memory is that most people didn’t exactly overdo it when it came to showers.

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  • Britain Decides
    August 2015

    Britain Decides

    There’s something admirably old-fashioned about a British general election. Instead of the two years of incessant blather we get over here, the whole thing is over inside a month.

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  • July 2015


    This is a tale of two cultures. The first is that of the 1960’s Britain where I grew up. By and large, the taxpaying householder was still the unchallenged master of his domain.

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  • Detroit: The Calm After the Storm
    June 2015

    Detroit: The Calm After the Storm

    If you were looking for the authentic voice of a particular type of disaffected Detroit resident in that searingly hot summer of 1976, Mr. Mad and Dangerous might be it.

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  • Brian Williams’ Job

    Brian Williams’ Job

    At the heart of the Brian Williams affair lies, I think, not so much the question of his alleged brush with enemy fire in Iraq, but whether we should properly treat such people as working journalists or entertainers.

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  • December 2014

    Delivering the Goods

    My local post office in suburban Seattle seems to be rigged to discourage customers these days. When you ask for the slightest bit of “consumer assistance”—as their cheerful mission statement on the wall promises they’re only too happy to provide—they seem to get ferociously cross.

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  • December 2014

    It’s a Drag

    That characteristic feature of our age, the impressively feckless adolescent indulged by a craven and cynical media, reared its head this past October 15 in the rural community of Randle, Washington.

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  • A Very American Hotel
    September 2014

    A Very American Hotel

    Forty years is a long enough stretch, but it seems far less than half a lifetime ago when, as a surly British teenager, I found myself clutching an all-day pass to the 1974 World’s Fair in Spokane, Washington.

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  • Middle-Class Pretensions
    March 2014

    Middle-Class Pretensions

    When I was growing up in England 50 years ago, the newspapers still periodically caused a certain amount of mirth by “outing” a national figure as not some impeccably Eton-reared patrician, as his public image seemed to imply, but a horny-handed son of the soil who had gone to the local state school and taken elocution lessons before relaunching himself as a smooth-talking toff.

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  • That Special Relationship
    February 2014

    That Special Relationship

    John Kennedy and Harold Macmillan were the odd couple of the Special Relationship. Conjuring a picture of them from the cuttings files and obituaries, they seem almost comically mismatched.

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  • August 2013

    My Big Brother

    Not long ago, while reading A.J.P. Taylor’s impressively turgid English History: 1914-1945, I found, suspended in the tepid depths of all the fussily annotated tables and statistics, a sentence that all but knocked me out of my chair.

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  • Mick Jagger at 70
    July 2013

    Mick Jagger at 70

    But whether out of morbid curiosity or genuine love of the music, audiences around the world still flock to share the same space as the old devils for a couple of hours. In the case of Keith Richards, the more decrepit he looks, the more fans he gets.

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  • Never See His Kind Again
    April 2013

    Never See His Kind Again

    My father, Sefton Sandford, died last November 11, which somehow appropriately was Veterans Day. He was 87. Any child’s judgment is apt to be subjective on these occasions, but I remain stubbornly of the opinion that he was a great man, and certainly one who answered Wordsworth’s question, “Who is the happy warrior?"

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  • Frost/Nixon
    March 2013


    David Frost is a schizophrenic. His creative personality bestrides the Atlantic ocean. When he’s at home in England, Sir David, as he’s known, fronts daytime-television panels and gives splendid summer parties at the country home he shares with his wife, Lady Carina Fitzalan-Howard.

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  • January 2013

    High Times for Democracy

    When George McGovern died, aged 90, two weeks before the last general election, the obituaries rightly praised his long and fitfully distinguished record as a U.S. representative and senator, his years of military service, his plucky presidential campaign against Richard Nixon, and his principled opposition to the Vietnam War, among other such causes.

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  • Piltdown Man
    December 2012

    Piltdown Man

    Scientific confidence in Piltdown depended in large measure on Charles Dawson’s profound confidence in himself, and on his untiring promotion of a whole series of stunning archeological finds that followed in quick succession from his original announcement.

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  • Julian Maclaren-Ross
    November 2012

    Julian Maclaren-Ross

    For a quarter of a century, Julian Maclaren-Ross' world was one of smoky rooms, unpaid bills, and spectacularly failed love affairs. In every way, he was the embodiment of 1950’s literary Bohemianism.

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  • The Soldier's Soldier
    October 2012

    The Soldier's Soldier

    At 9:40 p.m. on Friday, October 23, 1942, the night sky on the Egyptian coast west of Alexandria was suddenly lit by three red flares, followed, a moment later, by the unearthly screech of 882 phosphorus-shell launchers and other heavy-artillery pieces coming to life.

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  • Boyhood and Single-Sex Education
    September 2012

    Boyhood and Single-Sex Education

    In Britain, the late 1940’s and early 50’s were probably the hardest years of the 20th century. For millions of people, the postwar decade was one of icy nights in gaslit rooms, interminable queues, and meals composed of whale fat and tinned beef—the comically vile ingredients of a serious sacrifice that particular generation is unlikely to forget.

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  • August 2012

    A Mayor for London

    Welcome to Britain. The day I arrived, just as London’s mayor officially declared the city open for the Olympic Games, there were two-hour lines to pass through border controls at Heathrow, and that was just for us lucky British passport holders.

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Results: 60 Articles found.